Study finds fewer California physicians accept Medi-Cal despite a surge in patients

April 21, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy 

As part of the California Medical Association’s (CMA) 40th Annual Legislative Leadership Conference, more than 400 physicians, medical students and CMA Alliance members have come to Sacramento today to lobby their legislative leaders as champions for medicine and their patients. They will be lobbying a package of CMA-sponsored bills that will increase access to health care throughout the state. The bills include:

AB 1805 (Skinner) restores a 10 percent cut made to California’s Medicaid program (Medi-Cal) in 2011. Medi-Cal reimbursement rates are among the lowest in the nation, often reimbursing providers below the cost of care. Many Medi-Cal patients have difficulty finding providers able to care for them. As millions of new patients enter the health care delivery system, reimbursement rates must be sustainable so that patients have real access to care.

AB 1759 (Pan) extends through 2015 and beyond the reimbursement increase for certain Medi-Cal primary care providers, currently mandated under the Affordable Care Act, but set to expire on December 31, 2014.

AB 1771 (V. Manuel Perez) increases access to care, especially in underserved areas, by requiring health insurance companies licensed in the State of California to pay contracted physicians for telephone and electronic patient management telehealth services.

AB 2458 (Bonilla) creates additional residency positions to train very much needed primary care physicians by establishing the framework to administer grants to medical education residency programs at hospitals and teaching health centers.

AB 1805, 1759 and 2458 are being heard in Assembly Health Committee Tuesday, April 22 at 1:30 p.m.


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